Sometimes I just want a sandwich. This feeling usually hits on a Saturday afternoon. When I was swimming regularly on Saturdays, I’d leave the pool exhausted, just trying to figure out where I could pick up a good sandwich. I’m not normally a sandwich person, but the chlorine in the pool seemed to trigger old memories of summer camp. Right after a swim workout I’d become fixated on the idea of a grown up version of an old camp lunch. I wanted a delicious vegetarian sandwich, a bag of Pop chips, and an Izze. Sometimes I even wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some Lay’s chips in a Ziploc baggie and a Capri Sun.
What I really wanted was to find a shop or food truck that would sell me that sandwich, bag of chips, and sparkling water. So I did a fair amount of searching and Yelp-ing, but had no luck finding a place that specialized in vegetarian sandwiches in Berkeley (if you know of one, please let me know in the comments!).
There seem to be three kinds of vegetarian sandwiches you can expect to find at a sandwich place (if you’re lucky). The first is plain veggies with hummus. The second is a riff on the first, but it’s a roasted vegetable sandwich, perhaps with mozzarella, and usually consisting of roasted red peppers, portabella mushrooms and eggplant. The third is a caprese sandwich with mozzarella, tomato and basil. All of these can be delicious if done right, but eventually they can get boring.
I think the market has a perfect hole in it for a vegetarian sandwich shop or food truck. This gorgonzola, caramelized onion and fig sandwich was perfect this weekend. I also love my grilled cheese with cheddar, apples and mustard which is still my very favorite sandwich. There’s a whole range of creative grilled cheese sandwich possibilities to be explored.
There’s also my buffalo tofu, goat cheese and asparagus sandwich, though if I were making it again, I’d pair a blue cheese spread with the buffalo tofu. I also added this new sandwich to the mix last weekend. It’s avocado and lemon aioli plus both slicing cucumbers and lemon cucumbers, a perfect late summer combination of tang and crunch.
Maybe I should start that vegetarian sandwich food truck myself.
Do you have a favorite vegetarian sandwich?